How to Receive God’s Grace

Sunlight on the ocean

Any hope that we have to be saved is by the grace of God (Ephesians 2:8). God’s grace is offered to all (Titus 2:11); however, it is not received by all. How do we receive God’s grace? James explained:

But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, ‘God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’ Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you” (James 4:6-10).

James’ explanation is very different from what a denominational preacher would give. Yet his explanation is “inspired by God” (2 Timothy 3:16). So let us take a closer look at what James had to say on the subject of receiving God’s grace.
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Lessons on Wisdom from the Life of Solomon

SolomonMany books have been written in which the author claims to be imparting some wisdom to his readers. What makes the book of Proverbs different is the author and the source of his wisdom.

The last two chapters of Proverbs are attributed to “Agur the son of Jakeh, the oracle” (30:1) and “King Lemuel, the oracle which his mother taught him” (31:1). The identities of these individuals are uncertain. However, the bulk of Proverbs can be attributed to “Solomon, the son of David, king of Israel” (1:1). Some of these “proverbs of Solomon” were “transcribed” by “the men of Hezekiah, king of Judah” (25:1).

It is important that we understand how Solomon acquired his wisdom. We find the answer to this shortly after Solomon established his rule as king over Israel.
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Lessons from the Conversion of Apollos

There are several accounts of people being converted to Christ in the book of Acts. One such example was the conversion of Apollos in Ephesus. Notice what Luke records:

Now a Jew named Apollos, an Alexandrian by birth, an eloquent man, came to Ephesus; and he was mighty in the Scriptures. This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he was speaking and teaching accurately the things concerning Jesus, being acquainted only with the baptism of John; and he began to speak out boldly in the synagogue.

But when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately. And when he wanted to go across to Achaia, the brethren encouraged him and wrote to the disciples to welcome him; and when he had arrived, he greatly helped those who had believed through grace, for he powerfully refuted the Jews in public, demonstrating by the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ” (Acts 18:24-28).

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Audio: Gospel Meeting at the Eastside church of Christ

I had the privilege of speaking in a Gospel Meeting at the Eastside church of Christ in Morgantown, KY this past week – October 17-19, 2013. The three lessons I preached are listed below.
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What We Profess With Our Dress

Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments, but rather by means of good works, as is proper for women making a claim to godliness” (1 Timothy 2:9-10).

Modest ApparelPaul talks about women wearing clothing that is “proper for women making a claim to godliness.” The King James Version reads: “women professing godliness.” The point is that our clothing makes a statement. We should ask ourselves: Are we making the right statement with our clothing?

These verses are specifically directed toward women. There is a reason for this: women are much more likely to cause harm with their improper dress. It is not that men can dress however they want without any thought to “godliness.” The principles in this passage, and those that we will be considering in this article, apply to both men and women. In this article, we will notice some of the things that we should profess with our dress.
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“Surely I Am More Stupid Than Any Man”

Agur describes himself as being “more stupid than any man” (Proverbs 30:2). Yet this man demonstrates that he possesses valuable insight and wisdom that we would do well to learn.

Surely I am more stupid than any man, and I do not have the understanding of a man. Neither have I learned wisdom, nor do I have the knowledge of the Holy One. Who has ascended into heaven and descended? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has wrapped the waters in His garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name or His son’s name? Surely you know!

Every word of God is tested; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. Do not add to His words or He will reprove you, and you will be proved a liar” (Proverbs 30:2-6).

In these first few verses of this chapter, there are several bits of wisdom we should consider. Notice some of the things which this “stupid” man understood.
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By the Grace of God

In presenting evidence to support the resurrection of Christ, Paul tells the brethren in Corinth of several eyewitnesses who could verify the fact that Jesus did in fact rise from the dead. The last of these eyewitnesses that Paul mentions is himself: “And last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also” (1 Corinthians 15:8).

At this point, Paul takes a short break from his discussion about the historicity of Jesus’ resurrection to make a point about the grace of God:

For I am the least of the apostles, and not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove in vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me. Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed” (1 Corinthians 15:9-11).

Paul makes four points in these three verses about the grace of God. Let us consider these briefly.
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